After waking up incredibly refreshed, eating breakfast provided by the hotel (fruit, bread and coffee for me, which will become the story of the trip) and checking out, we made our way to Brussels proper. The hotel clerk told us since there was no ticket machine, we just hop on the train and “sometimes we pay, sometimes we don’t. Such is Belgium.” I like Belgium already.
First on our agenda once we hit the ground was to find the Grand Place. It required a little wandering around and consulting our trusty map but eventually we just kind of stumbled upon it. And it was definitely grand.
After taking in the sights around the Grand Place and reveling in the fact that the tourist quota was somewhat low this lovely Saturday morning, we ventured to find that famous little guy taking a leak.
This guy is so famous, he has a schedule concerning his different outfits, and a museum displaying all of his outfits which we sadly didn’t get to visit. Here it is that we found the tourists. We were not the only people fancying Manneken Pis at such an early hour.
Our next stop was Cafe Delirium, a pub famous for the outrageous number of beers that you can choose from, something ridiculous like 2,004 bottles at the ready. According to my guidebook we were close. Rejoice! We found the street it was situated on, which is one of my favorite streets in Brussels.
And sitting quietly in the middle of two other bars was LITTLE Delirium. NOT Cafe Delirium, the Guinness world record holder. I consulted the book again, and re-checked the map. The address was wrong, but the map showed it right where we found Little Delirium. We popped in for a pint anyways, to sort out our confusion. I plan to write a strongly worded letter (points for the reference) to Frommers for the grave error.
I ordered my now coveted Chimay Blue while Jeff had the Delirium Red. Now, in good ol’ Portland, a Red is a somewhat bitter ale. It is not made of fruit, and it does NOT taste like shit. Unfortunately, Delirium’s Red had what we THINK was cherry in it and it had such a horrible aftertaste, we were chasing it with Chimay and couldn’t finish the pint. The two of us not finishing a pint is something unspeakable. THAT’S HOW BAD IT WAS.
Frustrated by our beer woes and desperate to find the real Delirium, we wandered around the area for a good hour in search of the right street. Finally, after some emotional outbursts and cries of “I hate Brussels!” I asked a nice policeman how to find the bar. In thickly accented English, he gave us these exact instructions:
“Vous know zat big square, oui? Well, go down ze alley in ze direction I’m pointing until vous reach a T. Turn left and then right and vous will find it.”
Jeff said these directions were total BS, but I had faith. I followed them exactly and where did we end up?
The moral of the story, kids? Always have faith in the police when asking for directions to a bar ridden with tourists.
We managed to hit up Delirium three separate times during our vacation, even though we didn’t stay more than that first night in Brussels. The very last visit I will share about when I come to the end of the trip.
That concludes this post about Brussels, tomorrow we shall visit Bruges and take in all the glorious sights and amazing people.